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La Caraqueña, Venezuelan in Falls Church - Chef-Owner Raul Claros on Broad Street - Closed


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Warren Rojas is one of our area's most underrated restaurant critics. He first wrote about La Caraqueña here, in the October issue of Northern Virginia magazine. Take a look at those pictures of the arepas.

Todd Kliman than picked up on it in Washingtonian here, and between the two positive reviews, I felt negligent for not having tried it myself.

La Caraqueña has a bright new sign outside, but sits in the parking lot of what can only be called a fleabag motel. As I drove into the parking lot, I said out loud to myself, "God this place is a dump."

That impression went away the moment I walked into the restaurant - a completely empty restaurant at 12:45 on a weekday. Warren's review was on the wall, and a gentleman was standing behind the cash register, all by himself.

"Do you do carryout?" I asked him.

He handed me a menu, which I began to look over. Then I looked up at him, and asked, "Do you make your salteñas here?"

The look I got was a curious mixture of politeness, frustration, and what amounted to almost complete dismissal.

"Yes," he said. "We make everything here."

"I'll take two of them to go."

I stood around waiting, and after a moment, he said, "It's going to take about fifteen minutes. You might want to have a look at the paintings on the wall [for sale], or have a seat."

So I went out, made a quick call, then came back in, grabbed a menu, and sat at a table and waited. I read that all items are cooked to order, and that this is not fast food - they don't even have a paper carryout menu.

After a couple of minutes, he came back out to the register, and asked me if I'd ever been in before. I told him no, but that I liked the salteñas at El Pike in Seven Corners. He perked up.

"You've been to El Pike?" he said.

"Yes. I don't like the ones at Luzmila's [down the street] as much because they use a lot of sugar."

That was all it took. He became animated and engaged in the conversation.

"Salteñas are all over Bolivia," he said, "and you can't find the real ones here. Wait until you try mine."

"Are you the GM?"

"No, I'm the chef."

It was Raul Claros.

After a few more minutes, he went back into the kitchen, then came out and handed me a bag. He said, "Here you go, sir. You're about to have salteñas like you've never had before."

His confidence bordered on cockiness. And he was right. El Pike's have been very good in the past; La Caraqueña's were fantastic - the best I've ever eaten.

And yet, the dining room was empty.

My friends, I cannot vouch for the rest of this menu, but after Warren and Todd raved about the arepas, can there be much doubt about them?

I propose a $20 Tuesday, sooner rather than later, at La Caraqueña. I am utterly intrigued from what little I've seen, am going back for a more thorough exploration very soon, and have a feeling that this little restaurant is doing something very important, in a small-scale way. Please try it and give us your impressions.

Cheers,
Rocks.

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I have been looking for venezuelan arepas in the dc area forever and tried the arepas de carne mechada at la caraqueña. Excellent, they remind me of past arepas I've had in spain and caracas. I am used to getting them fried, but most people like grilled arepas better, either way this place is a real gem. The tequeños are really good too, especially with coffee.

I forgot to mention, that you should probably get a viuda along with your arepa, since they might have too much stuffing and you can turn one order into two easily this way.

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Working from home today, I managed to cross another thing off my "easier to do before I move to Courthouse" list - visiting La Caraquena.

It was past 1:30 when I got there and I'd forgotten how dumpy the hostage hotel is. I was afraid it was closed but when I got there I was the only person in there. Still, the waiter was extremely friendly and offered lots of advice about the food.

He suggested a fruit juice on the menu which I'd planned on trying at the end of the meal and plain forgot about; I was jonesing for some caffeine and stuck with a Diet Coke.

I was starving (no breakfast) so I ordered heavily. An order of the sopa de mani ($5.99) is a creamy peanut soup with cubes of tender beef. It was nowhere near as thick as I expected but was quite delicious. I ordered a single saltena ($3.99) which, for whatever reason, was brought out with a spoon.

I've had saltenas from a few places - a place over in Ballston whose name I'm blanking on (my first experience, when doing a gig down at the Pentagon) and at Julia's. This one blew them away. I garnished it with some of the spicy green stuff (the name of which I forget) that they'd put on the table and seriously, I would stock up big time on those things. They are wonderful.

Still hungry, I ordered the Diputado ($9.49). This is a sandwich of thin sliced sirloin topped with a fried egg and sauteed onions. It was messy and delicious, even if I ended up finishing it off by ignoring the bun and using a fork (because I was dangerously full and couldn't stop eating it). It came with some french fries that weren't bad, about half way between a shoestring and a steak fry, but honestly were not memorable.

That was the only thing that wasn't amazing - the french fries. Everything else was great. I spent more money than I expected (before tip it was $23 and change) but that didn't bother me at all 'cause it was great. Now I need to not fall asleep while pondering my afternoon work...

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On the strength of this thread and the review in the May Washingtonian, Bill and I had lunch here today. First, a confession: I've never had a saltena or an arepa before today.

There were a couple of other folks in the restaurant, but after tasting the food I couldn't figure out where the heck everyone was! Why wasn't this place packed?

The saltena was warm and delicious, with spicing leaning more toward complexity than heat. It reminded me of one of my favorite childhood comfort foods: chicken pot pie. It didn't seem that large, but it was satisfying.

Bill had a diputado--thinly sliced steak with fried onions, tomatoes lettuce and a fried egg on a soft kaiser roll. I got a little taste and it was delicious and, again, comforting. His sandwich came with fries that were crisp on the outside and creamy inside--I really liked them.

I had a fried arepa filled with avocado/mayonnaise-dressed chicken salad. As cleveland park said, if one ordered this and a plain arepa, there would be enough filling for two sandwiches. It was filling and delicious, but wasn't heavy. I loved every bite!

The prices are extremely reasonable. I would love to see a $20 Tuesday event here, although the place seems so small that we'd probably take over the whole restaurant.

I can't wait to go back and try some more of their food, like the soups!

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Finally made it! First timne for saltena and arepa. The saltena is basically an empanada, in this case filled with egg white, olives, and stewed beef. Lots of juices poured out after cutting it open. It's good with a hint of sweetness. I had JP's favorite arepa. The bread itself is fine but the sliced beef sandwich meat wasn't particularly flavorful. Based on prior reports, prices have gone up. It's now $4.99 for a saltena. Service is English friendly.

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No drunken tomfoolery tonight as we're going to meeting our prospective pediatrician. Afterwards, my wife has consented to eating out and I think I'm going to steer us to La Caraquena. Anyone been recently? Anything worth trying other than saltenas and arepas?

I was there last week, my third or fourth visit overall. The much talked about Sopa de Mani, which I hadn't tried yet, was a bland disappointment. The saltenas were as good as ever, but at 5 bucks I still think they are overpriced. The arepas (we got a black bean and cheese one and JPs favorite) were good. I like to get a fried arepa on the side and make two small sandwiches. They are best doused with lots and lots of their killer salsa verde (thats the key to enjoying JPs favorite, especially). We also had some fried plantains, which were good, but those are hard to mess up.

If I go back again--and I'm not sure I will because as good as some of the food is I'm sick of the pretentious owner, small portions, and higher-than-they-should-be prices-- I'd maybe try the diputado sandwich, the black bean soup, the fried yucca, the El Sabroso, or the tequenones in addtion to an arepa and a saltena.

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They make good saltenas (with eggs, olives, chicken, and beef all stuffed into one saltenas), whether it's a good value, that's personal. They also make good yuca fries (but so does every Peruvian chicken joint) and the Arepa Mechada (pulled beef) is quite flavorful. Unfortunately they didn't have JP's favorite tonight, nor did they have the Barros Luco (no cooked steak?), instead they asked if we wanted a chicken sandwich. As best we can tell, it was a sliced processed chicken sandwich (like chicken steak-umm). The fried fish, whether fresh or not (tilapia), was fishy and heavily breaded (an evenly spread batter like fish and chips rather than tempura-like batter). No one pretentious in sight, helpful service and interesting South American beer. I tried the Xingu Brazilian black beer - not a stout, in fact a little sweet and very tasty.

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Okay, gang, I just had a Pabellín Completo ($15.99), an innocuous-sounding dish of pulled beef, white rice, black beans, sweet plantains, a sunnyside-up egg, and some Latino white cheese.

We'll be holding a lottery tomorrow to see who gets to shoot me: I actually had Present rated above this in the Dining Guide. Oversight! No, really, I'm saying that I need oversight! Shoot me, please. Tomorrow at dawn.

I don't think it's possible for this dish to have been any better. The execution today was uncanny; I'm unconvinced this can be done on a large scale (I said the same thing about Ashley Christensen and was proven wrong).

I talked to Raul, and he wants to do a $20 Tuesday (although he said Mondays and Wednesdays are the best nights).

Cheers,

Rocks

DonRocks said:

I propose a $20 Tuesday, sooner rather than later, at La Caraqueña.

ScotteeM said:

I would love to see a $20 Tuesday event here, although the place seems so small that we'd probably take over the whole restaurant.

Someone want to step up and organize?

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Just curious how the $20 Monday went?

I thought it went well, we had about 12 attendees. We were outside, which I think is the only place that would have fit us all together. We all ordered individually. I started with a saltena that was wonderful, really soupy, but full of good stuff and great with the pepper relish on the table. I then had the diputado which was impossible to eat as a sandwich so I cut it up, the fries were forgetable so I only ate a couple, plaintiains were much better. The sandwich itself was good, I liked the mix of flavors between the onions, tomatoes, beef and egg, but Hubby's pulled beef arepa was a real winner. Catharine got the Pabellon a Caballo a mix of the pulled beef, rice, black beans, egg, avacado and plaintains and that was a great dish the mix of flavors melding together was great. I would get that again in a heartbeat. And I also really like Zora's corn salad with beef (although her beef was way over the temperature she requested), I thought it had an interesting mix of hot and cold flavors. The table was pretty silent as the food first arrived so I think that is a good sign.

I also had a mojito that was decent, but nothing out of this world, but refreshing on a hot night. But would love to hear what others had and what they thought of their dishes.

Going back after this anything with the pulled beef to me is a must order.

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We (I brought my 2 kids)thoroughly enjoyed it. Great company, as usual- we ate at a large outside table, which caught the occasional breeze. We shared a saltena & Tom grudgingly gave me his last spoonful of one of the best black bean soups that I've ever tasted. We all tried a different arepa-Tom got the JP's favorite, Lizzy had the shredded beef & shared her corncake w/ me, my reina pepeada had a generous amount of filling & I would break off a piece of corncake, top w/ the chicken salad, & spoon on the chooped green chiles-delicious!

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My arepas -- JP's favorite and the Perico (filled with, essentially, a veggie omelet) were very good. Girlfriend had the chicken and avocado salad, which was also good. However, her daughter had the tilapia and that wasn't so good. I would wave off anyone else aiming at seafood here.

I heard from the table banter that Diners, Drive-ins and Dives filmed here for an upcoming episode. After coming home last night, I saw that Comet Ping-Pong was featured on DD&D, so I guess they filmed at a lot of places around the area and will air segments according to whatever theme they're attempting for any given show. At least I'm glad we hit this place prior to the airing, because a seat will be all the more difficult to score.

The outdoor venue was unfortunate in this weather. There was an occasional breeze, but our area of the world is not conducive to comfortable al fresco dining in June, July or August.

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I just watched the DD&D episode. It looked a bit more appetizing than my recollection from the $20 Tuesday event, but perhaps that was mostly because we were sitting outside in the heat and humidity of summer. Guy Fieri has me convinced to give it a try in the cold weather months, and I will do so....even though it's 15 miles farther away from me than the perfectly serviceable El Sabor Boliviano and Rivera's, both in Springfield.

Interestingly, the arepas were being made at 3:00pm, according to the wall clock, but Guy Fieri's wristwatch read 4:00pm. And then a few minutes later, the saltenas were being made at 1:35pm.

I also didn't realize how much shortening is involved in making saltenas. Your cardiologist would not be pleased....

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I just watched the DD&D episode....

Interestingly, the arepas were being made at 3:00pm, according to the wall clock, but Guy Fieri's wristwatch read 4:00pm. And then a few minutes later, the saltenas were being made at 1:35pm.

It takes a long, full day to tape an episode. When putting the show together I'm sure the editors were more concerned about using the best shots than making sure the clocks were in chronological order.

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So. Good.

and such good hospitality.

This place goes under my "Don hasn't steered me wrong yet" list.

We found ourselves out in Falls Church last month on a Friday night and decided to stop and get dinner. I opened up this DC Dining Guide on my phone and looked up Falls Church (so handy to have it organized by location) and we settled on La Caraquena. My husband had been in that neighborhood on other weeknights and noticed it, but noticed that the parking lot wasn't full -- we foolishly extrapolated this to a Friday night.

The place was packed and clearly we should've had a reservation. It's a small place. I told the waiter/host thanks and said we'd come by another time with a reservation to try their arepas, which I'd heard were amazing.

We went out to the parking lot, and a minute later realized the waiter was running after us -- had I dropped my wallet inside? No, he said that a party was pretty late for their reservation, so if we wanted to stay a few minutes, if they didn't show up, we could have their table. We thanked him very much.

We went inside, and they joked with us that the waiter needed some exercise so that's why they had him run after us. A few minutes later the party showed up. We went to the host and said "well, thank you so very much, we will definitely make a reservation to come again," and they said hold on a minute, they might be able to make some room for us somewhere else. I don't know how they did it in that tiny space, but they found us a table and we quickly ordered.

We got what are described on the menu as milkshakes - mine was guava and it was fabulous. Light and a little frothy, like an Orange Julius, but the best Orange Julius ever with lots of real guava flavor. My husband ordered Pabellon Completo con Baranda (after I checked the RockStars' recommendations on our phone). Oh my goodness, I will definitely be getting something with that delectable pulled beef the next time. It was packed full of flavor. He said the egg was also wonderful. I had peanut soup, which was delicate (with little crisp strips - tortilla? - on top) and slightly spicy and tasted so different from the Virginia peanut soup I'm used to. Then I had the arepa with rice and beans and cheese -- lovely arepa, crisp outside and tender inside, and jampacked with filling (people above who mentioned getting one plain arepa on the side are right). I had it with some of my husband's avocado, which was perfectly ripe, and with a zingy green sauce that came with it. Next time I would get it with the pulled beef and cheese, or with the fluffy scrambled eggs. My side of plantains wasn't greasy and didn't have those nearly-burnt bits I like, but it wasn't dry like non-greasy plantains often area - it was full of flavor.

We would've stayed for dessert (another table was enjoying theirs hugely), but when the waiter asked about dessert or coffee, I asked "Could you use our table?" and he said well, yes. Such great hospitality, they made room for us, didn't rush us but they got the food to us quickly, and didn't pressure us not to get a final course, but admitted politely when asked that they could use the table for the next group. We will go again, with reservation, and get dessert as well, and probably more food as we'll have more time to peruse the menu.

Thank you Don and the RockHeads for the great recommendation!!

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Thank you Don and the RockHeads for the great recommendation!!

It is not an exaggeration to say that your post nearly brought tears to my eyes.

There is no amount of money in the world that could bring me more satisfaction than to bring joy to people in a situation such as yours.

Thank you for posting! It means *so* much to me. And let's not forget that Warren Rojas was the one who originally discovered this restaurant.

You have made my evening, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart,

Rocks

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We would've stayed for dessert (another table was enjoying theirs hugely), but when the waiter asked about dessert or coffee, I asked "Could you use our table?" and he said well, yes. Such great hospitality, they made room for us, didn't rush us but they got the food to us quickly, and didn't pressure us not to get a final course, but admitted politely when asked that they could use the table for the next group. We will go again, with reservation, and get dessert as well, and probably more food as we'll have more time to peruse the menu.

Thank you for the report! First time I'd read this thread and now this will totally be on my list to try soon. Loved the above part of your report especially. If all people treated each other as they treated you in finding that table and then how you treated them at the end (above), dining out would be even more fun and the world would be a better place. Wonderful example of empathy, compassion, respect and courtesy.

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Well, it did bring tears to my eyes, so I cancelled at New Heights--forgive me Bill and Hillary and Strobe and Tori-- for Sunday and booked La Caraquena.

Thank you for the report! First time I'd read this thread and now this will totally be on my list to try soon. Loved the above part of your report especially. If all people treated each other as they treated you in finding that table and then how you treated them at the end (above), dining out would be even more fun and the world would be a better place. Wonderful example of empathy, compassion, respect and courtesy.

Look, I know I'm biased, but I sure wouldn't pick this place over New Heights. That said, I want to hear more reviews from people who *aren't* biased. The grilled arepas are wonderful, as are the salteñas (call first to see if they have them). It's great cooking for sure, but it's also something of a dive, and the beers aren't cheap. I'd like nothing more than for a place like this to succeed in this odious, corporate world. La Caraqueña is a restaurant worth spending the extra money for if you care about supporting small businesses.

No, it's not New Heights, but I love this place, I truly do. The co-owner (often working the register) is very quick to pick up on people who truly love food and wish to be experimental - tell him, flat-out, that you want Venezuelan food at its finest, and let him do the rest. Tell him you've heard from people who truly love great food that his is the best restaurant of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, and you want to see them at their best. Now that I'm typing this, I'm remembering just how great their yucca and plantains are, and gosh they're good. And the sauces, too.

I've had great meals here, and I've had good meals here; I've never had a bad meal here. It's not as consistent as I'd like it to be, but I'm pretty sure you'll like it, at the minimum - and you may just love it.

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The co-owner (often working the register) is very quick to pick up on people who truly love food and wish to be experimental - tell him, flat-out, that you want Venezuelan food at its finest, and let him do the rest. Tell him you've heard from people who truly love great food that his is the best restaurant of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, and you want to see them at their best.

Thank you for the tip -- I will absolutely do this the next time we go! (though my husband isn't quite as experimental as me, so probably he should get the Pabellon Completo again and I should get whatever he thinks is the best representation of Venezuelan food.

So glad the post brought you some joy, Don. Your site has been so invaluable to me and brought me so much pleasure trying out places I never would've heard of, or knowing just what dishes to have at each restaurant to eat their best food -- and around my office I'm known as the person to ask for food recommendations, almost entirely because of your site.

If you will forgive a sad-but-happy personal note, I had a dear, dear friend and colleague who was ill with cancer who we lost two years ago -- for several years, she came into the office once a week, and we made it our mission to have as many delectable meals out together as we could. She said that dining out together was one of her real joys. All the RockHeads' recommendations helped us have many marvelous, memorable meals where we were relaxed and happy in each others' company and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves trying new and fabulous foods (including the grasshopper tacos at Oyamel before one of her treatments, because she wanted to say "Quien es mas macha?!"). And I think of her whenever I go to Rasika, Oyamel, Siroc, Farrah Olivia, Zaytinya, Full Kee, and many other places.

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Turned on the tv, & DD&D is replaying the La Caraquena episode-I haven't been back since our first visit awhile ago, but I would hurt someone for an arepa right now, especially the chicken salad w/ avocado...I might have to hit Su Pollo for chicken & I have a bag of PAN arepa flour in the pantry...Lack of focus is my only stumbling block (as always)....

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Thistle - if you go next time on a weekend evening, please make sure you made a reservation on OT before you arrive. They do not take names when I went this past Saturday evening, and if it weren't for the handy OT app, my friend and I would have waited longer than the half hour from first inquiring for a seat to the OT reservation.

I highly recommend starting out with the Sugarcane Rum drink (sadly, I can't remember the cocktail name). It was really refreshing on a hot day like it was on Saturday and even better than their house margarita.

We started with the Tequeñones, which is like an egg roll stuffed with just cheese. It comes with an order of three of cigar lengths and just delicious (mostly I think because it was deep fried and melted cheese). The accompanying aioli of some sort and a jalapeno-based house sauces accentuated the cheese flavor according to my friend; I abstained because both contained either garlic or onion.

My friend ordered the Ocean Mix ( grilled tilapia with 4 shrimps and topped with homemade lemon caper sauce), which while nicely done, didn't hit things spot on, according to her; rather, she enjoyed trying my dish, the Tropical salad (grilled chicken breast, papaya, mango and tomatoes, served on a bed of lettuce dressed with olive oil and lime juice - onions omitted). They were sensitive to my garlic/onion allergy, which is always nice, grilling up a lightly salted, but perfectly moist chicken breast to go with the salad (which was the only thing other than cheese and dessert that I could have -- all the other dishes had garlic, onion or both). I was, again, really appreciative of their care.

Lastly, never skip dessert here. Or at least, don't skip the Quesillo Borracho (creme caramel). It is nicely made and set, with a creamy taste that is not cloyingly sweet, but rather reminiscent of the Taiwanese style ones I grew up with.

Definitely put this place on your radar if you haven't already.

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Living in McLean is a real drag when it comes to dining out. I went searching for Chinese but ended up at a Venezuelan joint. I decided on chicken, pollo Caraquena, which can best be described as BBQ chicken, BBQ as in sauce, not smoke. The dark meat was tender, juicy, and flavorful even after I deskinned it. The accompanying rice wasn't cooked to mush, which is a good thing. The steamed broccoli also came out firm, not crisp, not crunchy, but not mushy. I washed everything down with a couple of Xingu, Brazilian for black beer.

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Interesting that the best dish is arepas, which are Colombian (and Venezuelan), not Mexican. Another case of an American chef not bothering to spend time in Mexico before opening a Mexican restaurant?

Speaking of arepas, what's the latest on La Caraquena (Falls Church)?

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Speaking of arepas, what's the latest on La Caraquena (Falls Church)?

I'm not sure what you're asking here. Are they still open? I was there a couple months ago and they were. Are they good? Well ... depends what you mean by good. The owner is a very good cook, but that's where it ends. Service, prices, portion sizes, attitude - it's only a short drive from my house, and I almost never think to go.

That said, they *are* about the best arepas I've had in the area. I stand by what I wrote in the Dining Guide.

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Don, I know you had a really bad experience service-wise with them in April (post above where they got your order 100% wrong), but did that happen a couple times? I just ask because our experience with them last year was so good service-wise, both the first time we went and when we went back.

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Don, I know you had a really bad experience service-wise with them in April (post above where they got your order 100% wrong), but did that happen a couple times? I just ask because our experience with them last year was so good service-wise, both the first time we went and when we went back.

It didn't happen *that* badly twice, and I weight your experiences highly because (drum roll ...) I want to like this place!

I'll never forget a couple years ago when I asked for a beer recommendation, and got sold a (large) bottle that cost over $20 without being told the price. That same day, an order of fried yucca had about five precious little pieces (it was also the best fried yucca I'd ever eaten which made it doubly damnable).

Still, I would like nothing better than for a couple people to chime in with great experiences. I've talked with Raul in the past, and have always found him to be a very nice man, and his cooking alone gets La Caraqueña in Italic.

Did you find the portions Lilliputian? I'm not looking for huge amounts, but when I'm tempted to count the number of black beans that come with my Pabellón Criollo, that's just too precious.

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I remember having plenty of food. It's been a year or so since we've been there, though. I know I ordered an extra arepa b/c people had said there was so much filling it was a good idea, and I was glad I did. My husband had the Pabellon Criollo and shared some with me, so I don't think it was a tiny portion.

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Are they good? Well ... depends what you mean by good. The owner is a very good cook, but that's where it ends. Service, prices, portion sizes, attitude

AGREED x 5! After eating there four times, I wouldn't return without hearing there were improvements. Good (not great) food with service/attitude (especially when they are slammed) that is poor. I think my dissatisfaction comes from the expectation (à la Tyler Cowen?) that this is someplace where I'm looking for value in addition to tastiness. I could forgive the service errors if there were lower prices or larger portions. It may be unfair to La Caraqueña but I would place less emphasis on value for a restaurant in another location, nicely decorated, or with a different cuisine. Since the restaurant is doing well, however, I have been hesistant to share what is merely a complaint about how the business is run. I don't personally believe that my opinion about these aspects of a restaurant and why I won't be returning are worthwhile to share with others who might want to try La Caraqueña since they are not reasons to avoid the place without giving it a try.

It's similar to why I didn't post about Ravi Kabob when there was a discussion about its discriminatory practices. Although I'm satisfied from my own experience that the complaints are probably true and I haven't returned because I came to the same conclusion long ago, many of their customers either do not receive the same treatment or do not care if they do. I don't believe MY concern about Ravi Kabob's business practices and the reason I won't be returning should prevent others from going there and coming to their own conclusion.

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We had lunch at La Caraquena while doing our large circle of errands.  They have really made the inside of the place quite nice.  It's to the point where I think we could take the in-laws and they wouldn't blink an eye.  The outside still has a sign that says Saltenas, but they aren't on the menu.  I wonder if they are still making them?  I should have asked.  But I was content on arepas as I hadn't had any in a while.  I got a JP's favorite and one with the chicken salad with avocado (Rosalito maybe?).  Both grilled.  I love the beef, tomato and onion on JP's.  It has a wonderful seasoning to it.  I generally like my onions chopped small so I don't really notice them, but the way these are cooked and seasoned they are delicious.  I love chicken salad and I love avocados so the other was right up my alley.  I want to try to recreate this at home.  I think if I put avocado and mayo in the cuisinart I may be able to get there, may need to add some spices or something.

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On 7/22/2014 at 2:19 PM, ktmoomau said:

We had lunch at La Caraquena while doing our large circle of errands.  They have really made the inside of the place quite nice.  It's to the point where I think we could take the in-laws and they wouldn't blink an eye.  The outside still has a sign that says Saltenas, but they aren't on the menu.  I wonder if they are still making them?  I should have asked.  But I was content on arepas as I hadn't had any in a while.  I got a JP's favorite and one with the chicken salad with avocado (Rosalito maybe?).  Both grilled.  I love the beef, tomato and onion on JP's.  It has a wonderful seasoning to it.  I generally like my onions chopped small so I don't really notice them, but the way these are cooked and seasoned they are delicious.  I love chicken salad and I love avocados so the other was right up my alley.  I want to try to recreate this at home.  I think if I put avocado and mayo in the cuisinart I may be able to get there, may need to add some spices or something.

Last I checked (which was over a year ago), salteñas were on weekends only. I think it's worth a phone call.

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